Growing Up in Scotland: Characteristics of pre-school provision and their association with child outcomes
Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) is a large-scale longitudinal research project aimed at tracking the lives of several cohorts of Scottish children from the early years, through childhood and beyond. The aim of this report is to use data from GUS, combined with administrative data provided by the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland, to provide a detailed understanding of the characteristics of pre-school provision in Scotland and how it is experienced by children who live in different areas and who have different social background characteristics. Furthermore, the report seeks to explore the association between the characteristics of the pre-school setting a child attends and their cognitive and social development between ages three and five. Note that the report does not compare the outcomes of children who attended pre-school provision with those who did not attend. It is concerned only with children who attended some pre-school provision and does not allow us to explore the impact of pre-school provision per se. Instead the focus is on the impact of different characteristics of this provision. At three and four years of age, all children in Scotland are currently entitled to receive a minimum of 475 hours of pre-school education per year. As of August 2014, the Scottish Government will further increase the statutory entitlement to 600 hours. Given that upwards of 90% of children eligible for a pre-school place take it up, this place offers an important opportunity to address inequalities in cognitive and social development ahead of children's entry to school. This report uses data from children and families in the first birth cohort who were born in 2004/2005. In the age four survey (data collected in 2008/2009), parents were asked to provide the name and address of the pre-school provider the child was attending. This information has been used to link the survey data with administrative data from 2007 to 2010 held by the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland on establishments registered to provide pre-school education. (author abstract)
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